April 23, 2009
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior Chris Legrow escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth as fourth-seeded Babson hung on to defeat third-seeded MIT, 5-4, on the opening day of the 2009 NEWMAC Baseball Championship Tournament. With the victory, Babson travels to Wheaton College for the second day of the double-elimination tournament, while MIT travels to top-seed WPI. Both games are scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.
Babson (18-15) sophomore standout Andrew Aizenstadt delivered a gem on the hill to pace Thursday’s win. The second-year starter scattered nine hits over seven innings, but surrendered no earned runs while fanning seven MIT (19-10) batters. Improving to 6-1 on the season, Aizenstadt was lifted after yielding a lead-off walk to start the Tech eighth.
The Beavers scored all five of their runs in the third to mar an otherwise excellent outing by rookie Torre Swanson. After Aizenstadt and Swanson cruised through the first two frames, a one-out walk in the top of the third ignited the Babson attack. Junior Peter O’Toole, who finished 3-for-4, singled to second base to bring in the first run of the contest. After a sacrifice fly to left by sophomore Billy Besinger, the Beavers followed up with three straight singles. Bryan Evans connected on a run-scoring single to stretch the lead to three, while senior Jeff Wojnar plated the last two runs of the inning with a single to center.
MIT climbed back into contention with two unearned runs in the bottom half of the third. With runners on first and second and one out, rookie Creed Mangrum doubled to left center to drive in classmate Bryan Macomber. Sophomore Dan Hyatt added a sac fly to right as the Engineers reduced the advantage to 5-2.
Although MIT put runners in scoring position in every inning but the first two, Aizenstadt was able to keep the Tech attack at bay. The Engineers finally broke through in the eighth after taking advantage of a lead-off walk to Steven Nunez. Although Legrow put down the first two batters he faced, Nunez stole second and scored as Brian Doyle reached on an error by the shortstop on a throw to first. In the ensuing at bat, Macomber doubled to deep left center while Doyle raced around from first to turn the tilt into a one-run game. Stewart Park took a swing at the first pitch he saw following Macomber’s big knock, but Evans was there to snag Park’s line drive to left.
The Engineers had a chance to manufacture the tying run in the ninth as Hyatt reached on an error by the third baseman with one out. Thomas Phillips responded with a single to right field. After Nunez popped up to short, David Nole walked to load the bases. Down to its final out, MIT pinch hitter Will Blackman drilled an 0-1 pitch to right center but a tremendous catch by rookie Billy Miller snuffed out the rally.
MIT out-hit Babson, 11-8, although the Beavers committed four errors. Legrow was credited with no earned runs against in two innings of work, while picking up his second save of the campaign. Mangrum, who took over on the mound for Swanson in the seventh, gave up one hit in three innings of relief for the Engineers.